Celebrities vs. Citizens

Drunk driving is a serious crime that holds many offenses. Some of these offenses include license restrictions, fines, and mandatory attendance of “Alcoholics Anonymous” meetings, community service, or probation. Some jurisdictions even sentence drunk drivers to serve jail time. The justice system is very unfair when it comes to the sentencing of theses crimes when convicting celebrities compared to the average person. Paris Hilton, for example, committed her first DUI offense. Instead of Paris receiving an appropriate punishment for drinking under the influence, Paris received a slap on the wrist and a small fine.

It is because the justice system is crooked, and holds celebrities at a higher standard than your average person. Lindsay Lohan has had several encounters with the police within 4 months for DUI. She has numerous DUI and drug charges. Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, R. Kelley are celebrities, they get preferential treatment, whereas a common citizen like Genarlow Wilson and James Burton get maximum sentencing for minor crimes. When it comes down to it, is it fair to be more lenient on a celebrity vs. an ordinary person like you and me breaking the law? This is the moral question at hand.

I believe most of us in this room would agree that they are not above the law and should not be allowed to buy their freedom. It appears to me that the judges presiding over these cases are taking the celebrities career into consideration. But the same consideration is not given when you or I go before the judge and we are sentenced 10 days or more in jail. They don’t look at the bigger picture of how much damage has been done in reference to me having a job when I get out, and I would like to bring two recent cases to your attention that have been in the public’s eye. He was good in sports and he maintained a 3.

2 GPA. He had no criminal history. In 2003, following a New Year’s Eve party at a Douglas County hotel room, he was videotaped having sex with a 17 year old girl and then having oral sex with a 15 year old girl. This party is a party he will never forget. The next morning the 17 year old woke up with a hang over and said she had been raped. On February 25, 2005, Wilson was acquitted for the rape of the 17 year old girl but, was sentenced 10 years with one year of probation for aggravated child molestation for having oral sex with the 15 year old. Now, according to the video, both sex acts were consensual, and neither asked him to stop.

The 15 year old repeatedly told the authorities that the oral sex was consensual, but in the state of Georgia, during this time, the consent of a minor would only be considered if it was vaginal sex. Wilson was offered a plea deal in the very beginning, but he turned it down. They were offering him five years with possibility of parole before trial, and he would have to register as a sex offender. Shortly after his conviction, the law was changed. Now this act would be treated as a misdemeanor, and it would carry the maximum one-year sentence with no sex offender registration.

Wilson’s attorney filed an appeal to have his conviction overturned under the new law. On October 26, 2007 Georgia State Supreme Court ruled that Wilson’s sentence was cruel and unusual. He was released the next day after serving two years. Now, I failed to mention the two other young men who were charged with the same thing. They took the plea deal. One was released two years later, but now he is a registered sex offender. caselaw. findlaw. com/ga-court-of-appeals/1581814. html Now let’s talk about the one and only R. Kelly, the R&B superstar.

His real name is Robert Sylvester Kelly born in Chicago, Illinois, on January 8, 1967. Allegations of Kelly’s sexual activity with underage girls date back as far as 1991. In 1994 a rumor surfaced that 27 year old R. Kelly and 15 year old Aaliyah had secretly married. Although both denied these allegations, “VIBE” magazine published a copy of their marriage license, which showed Aaliyah’s age had been falsely listed as 18. The marriage was annulled a few months later. In 1996 Tiffany Hawkins sued for 10 million because he allegedly made her drop out of school.

She stated that she was having sex with him and he was having sex with other underage girls. The suit was settled in 1998 for $250,000. Now do you really think that a person who is not guilty would have settled out of court? No, not in a case like this unless he knew she was underage and you were engaging in sexual activities with her. An investigation was launched on Feb. 1, 2002, when a tape was sent to “Chicago Sun-Times”. He was charged with 21 counts of child pornography and he was ordered not to have any contact with any minors that were not related by blood or marriage.

His bail was set at $750,000, and he paid the 10 percent that was required and was released the next day. Now let me tell you about what was on the tape. It showed R. Kelly engaging in oral sex, molestation, masturbation, intercourse and urinating on a girl who was determined to be underage. More than 50 witnesses testified before a grand jury, identifying Kelly as the person in the video. The girl who was identified on the tape now says it is not her, which probably means she’s been paid off, and he never admitted that was him. His charges have changed from 21 counts to 14 counts of child pornography.

He has continued making hit records he recently released a new album this year called “Double Up” and he made a song called “Rise Up” in remembrance of those lost at Va. Tech. “He has out smart us again. ” He was suppose go to trial in September but that never happened and his trial is to be continued once again. Now you tell me what is wrong with this picture. Lindsay Lohan has had several drunken driving charges over the period of three to four (3­4) months. Of course, drugs were also found in her possession which was not chargeable because the drugs were under 0. 6 grams.

She has committed every possible road crime except vehicle homicide and/or suicide. And if she continues at this rate of carelessness, chances are very high that she will kill. She has been charged with injuring someone with her SUV while driving under the influences. According to the California police department, Lindsay Lohan was charged with seven counts of DUI incidents in Los Angeles, CA on August 23, 2007. Lindsay has been charged with several misdemeanors stemming from her two recent DUI incidents. Lindsay was caught driving under the influence with a blood alcohol level over 0. 08% percent. Her actual level was 0.

13 and she had 0. 05 grams of cocaine also in her possession. She was charged with driving with a suspended license, in a residential area at 100 mph, and reckless driving. The troubled actress was charged with two counts of drunken driving, possession of cocaine, bringing a controlled substance into a jail facility, and driving on a suspended license. The actress left the Santa Monica jail on Tuesday with a $25,000 fine. It happened just five (5) days after her first drunken driving charge on May 26, 2007. Lindsay was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol and misdemeanor hit and run stemming from an incident in May.

Lohan’s stay was only 45 minutes long in the jail after this incident. She posted a $35,000 bond and was released; according to the Los Angles County Sheriffs office (“she seems to have a family history of drugs and alcohol. Her estranged father also served time in prison [7 years] for drunken driving). ” www. dailymail. co. uk/… /Lindsay-Lohan-slams-fathers-arrest-complete… The actress is scheduled to be back in the Beverly Hills courthouse on August 24 to face charges stemming from the May 25 incident which she lost control of her 2005 Mercedes Benz convertible and struck a curb.

She received treatment for minor injuries at Century City Doctors hospital, where police cited and arrested her. She was later released with only misdemeanor charges. Lohan’s first DUI incident occurred on May 26, when Lohan allegedly lost control of her Mercedes and crashed into a tree near Sunset Boulevard shortly before 5:30 a. m. Although she left the scene to seek medical treatment, she later admitted to police she was the driver of the vehicle. Subsequent tests revealed a substance found in her purse was 0. 04 grams of cocaine, according to the District Attorney’s office.

James Burton, a 43 year old Vietnam veteran, has rare form of hereditary glaucoma. All of his family members have this disease, and several are already blind. Dr. John Merritt was the only physician authorized by the government to test marijuana in the treatment of ophthalmology. He had prescribed marijuana as the “only medication” that could prevent Burton from going blind. www. mpp. org/our-work/victims/james-burton. htm l Moreover, Burton owed a farm near Rotterdam in the Netherlands, and a large house in Green, Kentucky. He grew marijuana in the Netherlands, where it is legal.

Doctors prescribe cocaine, morphine, amphetamines and barbiturates for chronically ill patients but cannot prescribe marijuana, according to the DEA administrative law judge Francis Young. Mr. Burton admits he smokes, 10-15 marijuana cigarettes per day to relieve the pressure in his eyes. In March of 1988 he was found guilty of three counts of simple marijuana possessions. The judge sentenced him to a year in a federal maximum security prison, took his farm: 90 rolling, wooded acres in Warn County purchased for $34,701 in 1980.

256. com/gray/presume/1. html/ March 27, 1989, U. S. District Jude Ronald Meredith–without hearing any witnesses—forfeited Burton’s ownership of the farm and ordered Burton to get off the farm within 10 days (Burton worked 18 years and was a master electrical technician). “’To send a man to prison for trying to save his vision to prison, and steal property he worked decades for, should have the authors of the Constitution spinning in their graves,’ said Louisville lawyer Donald Heavrin” (Schneider & Flaherty, n.

d. ). Heavrin went on to say that “the action was ‘an unequalled and outrageous example of local and state government abuse and bigotry. ’” If his name was Richard Burton, an actor, I wonder if the criminal proceedings would have escalated to that degree. Every state has drunk driving laws. Most states refer to drunk driving as DUI; some states refer to drunk diving as DWI; still others refer to drunk driving as OUI, OWI, DUII, DWAI, OUIL or OMVI.

But no matter what you call it, the consequences are potentially severe: jail, fines, loss of driver’s license, required ignition interlock devices, attendance at alcohol education programs, lectures given by MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving [new] Students Against Destructive Decisions, or RADD (Recording Artist, Actor, Athlete Against Drunk Driving community service or freeway cleanup, increased car insurance rates, a criminal convection, and more. All fifty (50) states and the District of Columbia have per se laws defining it as a crime to drive with a blood alcohol concentration at or above 0.

08 percent. Forty-five states permit some offenders to drive only if their vehicles have been equipped with ignition interlocks. These devices analyze a driver’s breath and disable the ignition if the driver has been drinking. In 30 states, multiple offenders may forfeit vehicles that were driven while impaired by alcohol. Forty-three states and Washington, D. C. have laws prohibiting the driver, passengers or both from possessing an open container of alcohol and/or drugs in the passenger compartment of a vehicle.

However, this law does not seem to include the rich and famous. When it comes to ordinary people rather acquitted or even convicted of a minor offense, the possibility of moving into a new life today is virtually next to impossible. Their arrest record will follow them for the rest of their lives. If they interview for a job, 98. 9% percent of the time they will not be employed. But a celebrities get their life of fame and continue to work and receive money from book royalties and lucrative investments.

Celebrities can go bankrupt and still get an outstanding lawyer to represent them in court of law because the lawyer seizes his opportunity to become famous, and that is why it is so hard to bring these vicious law breakers to justice. What type of messages are we sending the next generation? References http://en. wikipedia. org/wiki/Genarlow_Wilson http://govt. eserver. org/presumed-guilty. txt I see you have several URLs to main webpages at the bottom. However, you need complete citations on this page. For tips on citation, check out my ENG 010 Tutoring Website or the OWL at Purdue.